Overall Score - 9.5 / 10
Scare Factor - 9.5
Actors - 9.5
Visuals - 10
Value - 9
Gayle - I have to say, USS Nightmare has always been a favorite of mine, because it has always been different. This year, they've set themselves apart even more! They have made some FANTASTIC changes in terms of offering new levels of experiences. They've changed some rooms, added many new props, changed some themes, and tell an even more engaging story than ever before. The actors are simply incredible...special props to the makeup artists! The story-line and level of interaction are like no other haunt in this area. Each passenger is taken on a grisly tour of an old, haunted ship, and along the way they are being engaged, and interacting along, with the actors in this journey. The RIP Experience is PHENOMENAL. You are given tasks, edibles, and could be pulled away from your group to be locked in a cell until they've found your key....just sayin'! The fog room is visually incredible, and the decontamination room is disorienting and mind-blowing! LOVED every intense, creepy, and entertaining second of it. What a GREAT time!!!
Donna - We have been going to the USS nightmare for many years and essentially the theme is always the same a haunted boat with the captain appearing somewhere on board to scare you. This year we were in for a big surprise. We did the RIP tour which I highly recommend you will not be sorry! This is a very intense hands-on interactive walk-through that will have you screaming for the exit holding your breath and thoroughly entertained throughout your terrifying trip. The actors are top-notch the best I've seen this year. There are new parts of the boat to be discovered the storyline is well thought out and well acted by everyone involved. It is dark where it should be dark and creepy and funny at times but I guarantee you this will be the height of your Halloween season. Well done Haunt! If you have not been to USS Nightmare please go! This haunt gets an A+ from the Fightmaster.
Paul - USS Nightmare takes place on an actual river dredge boat that's floating on the Ohio River in Newport, KY, right across from downtown Cincinnati. This is a huge ship built by the Army Corps of Engineers to remove earth from under the water on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. It was retired some years ago and now is a VERY good haunt.
The original dredging equipment is still on she boat. As you wait in line you're right next to the giant reels of cable that fed out to the dredge device, and as you go through the haunt you're constantly walking around original machinery and componentry that supported the work that this piece of history performed. The authenticity of all of this adds so much to the feel as you journey through. I really want to go through and see the ship sometime when the haunt isn't happening, just so I can see the equipment and the history!
The story says the ship was a really intense place to work and the captain was a bit of a slave-driver. He ran a large crew up and down the river and because he was a widower, his daughter Anna lived on board as well. Because it was such a rough life on board the vessel, the captain would occasionally let entertainment aboard when he would stop for food and supplies. This entertainment was often a group of clowns from whatever carnival was nearby to the refueling stop. (Knowing this beforehand would have made a lot more sense of the clown scenes.) There were many deaths on board over the years and toward the end of the boat's active life, it somehow broke free from its mooring one day and started floating downstream and smashing into things along the way. The captain was killed during this disaster, and Anna was never found.
Early on you end up in an elevator where they kind of explain the origins of what's happening on the ship. The elevator operator was really entertaining and did a great job with his part. New this year is the RIP Experience which allows the actors to touch you and adds extra scenes and rooms to the haunt. It isn't like they grab you and throw you around, but they definitely take advantage of being allowed to touch you and do quite a bit of invading your personal space. The elevator guy was our first intro to this and it really adds to the haunt. Well worth the upgrade to do the RIP!
There are so many notable scenes in this haunt it's hard to mention them all, but if you think about the types of rooms you'd find on a working ship, you'll find them here. Boiler/mechanical room, kitchen/galley, really nasty bathroom, Captain's quarters, crazy clown area, fog room, workshop, etc. (All ships have crazy clown and fog rooms right?) The sets were all extremely well-done and the actors were fantastic! This haunt is long, scary, detailed, and several of the actors were among the best I've seen in a haunt; improvisation, costumes, and makeup were excellent.
The only thing I noticed as somewhere they could improve upon is better presentation of the back story of the haunt. I had no idea why there were clowns on the boat until I went to the website afterwards and read the stories. Maybe add a couple of weatherproof TVs outside in the area where you wait in line that could play the videos from the website? There may have been some explanation in the elevator at the beginning but the actor in there was kind of hard to ignore. It's a minor thing, but it would have explained a couple of things that didn't seem to fit the theme.
Overall, I highly recommend the USS Nightmare! It's a great haunt in a perfect location. It's long -I think around 40 minutes for our group-, it has fantastic theming, talented actors, and isn't very expensive. Take a ride down to the river and get on board!
Todd - This year the USS Nightmare has ingeniously implemented an alternative option for their visitors cleverly named the "RIP Experience" which we fortunate enough to have on our walk through.
The general premise is that in addition to walking through the attraction, you wear a flashing necklace that indicates you are a RIP visitor. This signals to the actors that they may touch you and engage you in the various interactive parts of the haunt, exclusive for the RIP attendees.
Without giving away the surprises of this experience, I will at least disclose that it includes eating things, touching things, access to special rooms and in-depth interaction with some of the primary characters.
As for the haunt overall, the flow is primarily the same. I did notice some scene changes but nothing drastic. The more noticeable refinement this year was really in the actors and the delivered experience. Despite having the RIP tour, the execution of the story and its related elements was top notch this year. By far, this was the best I've ever seen the USS NIghtmare. Some very cool new effects have been added this year which we have yet to see repeated in any other haunts (again, keeping this under wraps).
All of the actors blended into their respective scenes quite well and did more than just yell the generic "Get out of here!"-like phrases. They were engrossed in their roles and did not break character in the slightest. As far as the touching with the RIP experience, for the most part, it's pretty mild. One actor did have me in a headlock, but the others limited themselves to actual touching...no shoving, grabbing or other more aggressive contact.
The USS Nightmare is definitely worth its price of admission this year. The upgrade to the RIP experience is HIGHLY recommended since it adds a new interactive dimension to this haunt, making it a great experience overall. Check it out!